Golin and Jackson Spalding vying to replace Ketchum on Orkin job

ATLANTA: Orkin, one of the largest pest-control companies in the US, is overhauling its PR agency arrangements. The credentialing round recently ended with 10-year incumbent Ketchum failing to make the final cut.

ATLANTA: Orkin, one of the largest pest-control companies in the US, is overhauling its PR agency arrangements. The credentialing round recently ended with 10-year incumbent Ketchum failing to make the final cut.

Calling its current program "stale, Martha Craft, Orkin's director of PR, confirmed that only two agencies - Golin/Harris International and Jackson Spalding - were invited to make the final pitch for the 2003 consumer business. The account will include brand positioning, consumer education, and corporate reputation.

The selection of Jackson Spalding is said to be unusual because its reputation is stronger in the b-to-b sector. Golin's participation has also raised eyebrows, as the agency has not gained a strong foothold in the Atlanta market as of yet.

Golin EVP Jennifer McMillan agreed, "This office had never really gotten off the ground, and had a lot of management changeover. But it is turning around, she said, adding that Atlanta has won the award for the best-performing Golin office two quarters in a row.

Jackson Spalding spiced up its pitch with a gimmick. "We started thinking about bugs and music, and thought, 'Beatles,' said firm associate Randall Kirsch. "Our presentation was themed 'A Better Way,' so we composed a song to the (Lennon/McCartney) tune "Yesterday, and we had them all singing around the table."

Final presentations are schedule on August 19. Craft said a final decision will be made "at the end of the summer."

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